Thursday, March 5, 2009

All is Fair.......

Now I am sitting in the comforts of my office, but, only minutes back I had found myself in the mother of all traffic jams, moving at the speed of a paraplegic snail. Being in Bangalore for past two years now, I can usually tolerate the frequent traffic since I’m always beside the driver’s seat and it the headache of the other person. For me, after being stuck for a while around the same cars, same buses, same trucks, I have now started to feel a bond growing between me and Bangalore traffic. My time pass is to study them all as if you're studying new roommates!

But, today, I could understand how annoying it is. The jam was visible as soon as I had started from home. Actually the news came to me much before that. In this fast paced technological world, you get to know what is happening outside sitting at home. (Anyways, that is a topic for different post). I was still getting ready at my usual tempo at home, when a perplexed and hassled friend of mine, decided to break the news to me. She was there, in it, trying to reach to our Electronic City Office! She called and told me how terrible it was and what all she had to face. Actually, thanks to her I was a bit mentally prepared to face the trauma. But, the positive me still thought it would be ok by the time I start. I decided to drop the idea of EC and go to the Madivala office, at least for the time being.

Under the sun, as I walked all the way from home to office, with my monster like laptop bag, I especially took notice of my surroundings. I could not see the road, it was only traffic and people were chaotically running here and there in the “Let-me-reach-office-or-let-me-commit-suicide” mode. It was a mad rush. People wanted to reach somewhere, they were walking or driving somewhere (yes, lanes don't exist here). Everyone wanted “speed” and “space”, but, where too???

These were the difficult times, when you need all the optimism stored in you to come out. I also did not give up.

For some time I tried to hire an auto. But, in vain. The auto drivers would look at me like zombies when I would say “Bhaiyya, (company name undisclosed) ke Madivala office chalna hai?” Some of those who managed to understand and comprehend the reason why I am asking this question, showed the courtesy of nodding their heads and moving away. Rest, who were more cognitive then others, thought and spoke only in their brains somewhere and moved away. But, me being me, could read that too. Their brains were shouting, “Look at this fool, how she can even ask this question? Doesn’t she know there is a massive jam near Silk Board?”

Now, I had no option, but, to walk up to my company’s Madivala office. I have always been thankful to my company for having offices at all locations. At least, if you do not reach your fixed location, you can swipe in and swipe out from somewhere (and work also if you wish too). The journey was another awesome one. It was hot, I was carrying my laptop and there was no space on the earth to walk! Most of the people were walking with an “I don’t care” attitude and a few, I noticed, were looking around with the kind of surprised expression I had. Whenever my eyes met someone in the second category, we would give each other a 'Can you believe these lunatics?' gesture.

And how can I forget that the honking was at its high and could have removed the stitching from my clothes.

For a few minutes now, I had begun to notice a how bikes, two-wheelers, cycles were trying to find their way through the tight traffic jam, fitting through the spaces between cars and buses, that directly violates all rules of physics. With every close pass or hit of someone else's side mirror, these little less equipped people would give an 'excuse me' expression, almost as if the matter was out of their hands and then slowly but surely would kept moving forward until they finally wedge and park themselves somewhere till the next move. It almost seemed like a game of chess between these small modes of transportation and the biggies on the road. I was wondering when all hell will break loose.

Now comes the climax, the cause of all this and I am so proud to say that I saw it! Only a few would have that pleasure as the rest would be busy in just crossing that damn traffic. I was walking at my own velocity and could spare some moments to see it all. Now, amongst many, I can boast of being the one who had visited the site of the problem and knows what it was.
As I walked, close to Silk board, I saw a truck that had about 20 people standing around it. This is one of those things that you must see to believe; a truck in the middle of a traffic jam, full of people tripping around like they're participating in Obama’s first Congress Speech. Incidentally, the truck decided to breakdown in the middle of the road and for some reason Bangalore doesn’t have a traffic disaster recovery system yet. So, the truck was still stuck there and of those 20 people standing there, 2 were trying hard to mend it. Rest, I thought were observers, supervisors, or moral boosters!

Interestingly, there was no sign of panic there. The restoration work was going slowly and soundly. Things seem to be under control. There was no sign of unrest also in those commuters who had crossed the truck breakdown point. In fact, they had the satisfied look of “Finally, I crossed it, now the traffic would be smooth for me”. So, only people who were uselessly panicking were those who were far behind on the road and had no clue of what had happened and when and how they would move ahead.

Well, then I walked down further and reached my office.

My plight is over there. As far as I am concerned, it is fine with me! How we could curb these jams or these traffic mis-managements is another discussion! Tomorrow I will hit another traffic jam which would have occurred because of another truck, or no traffic lights or an accident in that particular area and then we will again think.


Vijayashree said...

Are bandhu... Thanks for giving me the background. I am happy that you just had a glimpse of that truck and just walked back to work. Thank god!! I was atleast in an A/C bus, waiting to reach office. Probably, If I had to walk all the way, you bet... I would have killed him then and there... :)

I wonder when these miseries would end.


Amandeep said...

on my way to work, there's a bus stop ON THE TOP OF A FLYOVER!

Can anyone's intelligence beat that? And can you imagine the kind of traffic jams we have there 24x7?!

It has so become a part of life now...

Iya said...

sounds like a scary jam.. reminds me of my silk board days..